First, of course, there is all the planning for next year. We need to decide how many hives to purchase, usually without a very good idea about how many of those we already have are going to survive the winter. On a side note, I checked on all the hives on December 31 and they all seem to be doing well, but there's a lot of winter between now and when the dandelions bloom.
Winter is also the time to think about new products. Last week I began making my first batch of mead (see the previous post). We've also decided to try something completely different for 2011 that I'm really excited about. See our New Beekeeper Training Program for information about how you can get started with you very own hive.
The biggest job for winter, though, is getting equipment ready for the new hives and repairing what was used last year. Expanding by 16 hives is a lot of work. The entire pile of equipment in the picture below needs to be build and painted before the bees arrive in April.